So voters in Switzerland voted overwhelmingly today to formalize their excellent heroin prescription program, where they really lead the world in reducing crime and the ravages of addiction through implementing actual… ideas.
But, unfortunately, the cannabis decriminalization initiative failed. And it seems pretty clear why: cannabis tourism.
While the Swiss Government backed the heroin initiative, it opposed the call for marijuana legalisation because it feared that it could cause drugs tourism to Switzerland of the kind that is causing public disorder problems in border towns in the Netherlands. Oswald Sigg, a government spokesman, said: ‹This could lead to a situation where you have some sort of cannabis tourism in Switzerland because something that is illegal in the EU would be legal in Switzerland.Š
This is a real problem that will plague legitimate marijuana legalization opportunities in states and countries that are surrounded by repressive governments. The fear is that everyone will flock there, not to ski, or visit museums, or buy horribly overpriced trinkets, but to smoke pot. Now, personally, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing, but tourism boards hate it (except, perhaps, in the Republic of Cheetos®).
So here’s my suggestion for the next initiative in Switzerland. Make it legal only for residents. You already have national id cards, so it would be easy. (I’m not a fan of national id cards, but if you already have it, why not have it be good for something… useful?) Then you could easily dispel the pot tourism concerns — after all, it’s illegal for foreigners. Then, if the government wanted to be really sneaky, they could simply turn a blind eye to non-native tokers, except when they wanted to get rid of some obnoxious foreigner.
Now, apparently, the cannabis organizers in Switzerland are already thinking about using id cards…
The cannabis supporters lost out but immediately came up with another suggestion – special microchipped identity cards for cannabis smokers, rationing their intake, cutting out criminal dealers.
… but they’re not thinking big enough — stop pot tourism! (and make everyone else so jealous that they have to pass their own cannabis decriminalization plans)